Damian's Ride to Israel

$3,981raised of $6,000 goal
66%

Organizer: Rafi Fredman Beneficiary: Damian Lopez Alfonso

This fundraiser is closed

I have met an inspiring and talented young man recently with an incredible story which I'd like to share with you. When Damian Lopez Alfonso was a young boy living in Cuba, he liked to run around outside looking for kites that were stuck in trees. One day, he saw a kite stuck high in a power line. He tried to get it down with a metal pole but was severely electrocuted. His forearms were blown off and he sustained severe burns over his face and most of his body. Miraculously, he survived the accident, but was left without forearms and with severe deformities to his face. He has undergone an intensive rehabilitation course, receiving multiple reconstructive surgeries to rebuild his face.

One of the incredible things about Damian is that despite his injuries, he has become a very successful bicycle rider. He has raced throughout the world and competed in the 2012 Paralympics. Amazingly, he does not use any prostheses and has found a way to successfully control his bike using just his remaining upper arms.

Generous public support for Damian has funded his reconstructive surgeries in the US, most recently by Plastic Surgeon Dr. Oren Tepper at Montefiore Medical Center.

Now, Damian would like to help children who, like him, had severe injuries or deformities and now require extensive rehabilitation. Alyn Woldenberg Family Hospital of Jerusalem is a very unique pediatric hospital in Israel that solely focuses on the rehabilitation of children, many of whom were injured in terror attacks and car accidents. To show his support for the children of Alyn hospital, Damian plans on traveling to Israel this October to participate in Alyn Hospital’s fourteenth-annual “Wheels of Love” bike ride (www.alynride.org).

Every year, hundreds of bicycle riders from across the world gather in Israel to participate in a five- day bike ride to raise funds and show their support for the children of Alyn hospital. Children from the hospital are brought to the sidelines to cheer on the riders. As someone who faces many of the hardships that the children of Alyn are faced with, Damian wants to show these children that despite their injuries and disabilities, they too can do amazing things. As a strong global advocate for children with disabilities, I believe connecting Damian with children facing medical traumas in the State of Israel will be a particularly meaningful experience both through empowering the children of Alyn hospital and by having him become deeply aware of the tremendous work that Israel does for children with severe medical disorders. This experience is something that Damian can take with him as he continues his athletic career and his advocacy.

Every “Wheels of Love” rider is required to raise at least $2500 in donations supporting Alyn Hospital. We are looking for generous sponsors for Damian. To donate directly to Alyn Hospital, visit www.wolusa.org/Damian

Thank you so much!

All the best,

Rafi Fredman 

 

Updates

Updates

10/15/2013
by Rafi Fredman
Dear friends and family,

Damian is going to Israel!!  Thanks to each of you,  we were successful in overcoming many of the political and logistic hurdles of bringing Damian to Israel, and next week,  Damian will be boarding his flight to Israel to ride in Wheels of Love.  

There are still several things we need to fund,  for example,  someone to help Damian with his luggage,  a driver for Damian to Alyn Hospital and to the start of the ride in northern Israel, food for Damian before and after the ride,  etc... If there is any way that you can give another donation,  it will make a HUGE difference,  no matter the amount (even $5!). 

Over the next few weeks,  keep your ears open for Damian's story being on the news,  both in the US and Israel.  

I cannot thank you all enough for your generosity.  It means the world to me and Damian.  

Best, 
Rafi 



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08/15/2013
by Rafi Fredman
Thank you SO much to everyone that has donated. We raised enough money to pay the $750 to Alyn to register Damian for the bike ride. He is officially riding in the 5 day Challenge Course (the most difficult course)  The next step is to get him a flight to Israel. Keep spreading the word and telling everyone you know. EVERY DONATION COUNTS! 



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08/13/2013
by Rafi Fredman
So far we have raised almost $1000!!! Thank you so much to everyone who donated. We still have a ways to go so if you know anyone at all that would want to donate, please share Damian's story! Even small donations add up. 
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08/05/2013
by Rafi Fredman
Check out this article about Damian by Fuji Bikes!!

http://www.fujibikes.com/general/stories


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